Health psychology and public health: what do we have in common and how can we work to improve health?

COIL CGE image

MSc Health Psychology students at Coventry are currently collaborating with peers on the MSc Health Psychology at the National University of Ireland at Galway, and Masters in Public Health students at DePaul University in Chicago.

The focus of this collaborative learning project is international employability, including:

  • Global and local health issues and the potential role for health psychology and public health graduates in addressing these.
  • Digital fluency – key skills that will enable our students become global digital citizens.
  • Specific online collaboration tools, e.g. Padlet, live video conferencing, Microsoft Sway.
  • The professional status and employment prospects for health psychology and/or public health graduates in our respective countries.
  • Cultural and intercultural competence for health professionals.

The project is being hosted by Carol Percy and Krishna Bhatti as part of Coventry’s ‘Developing professional practice in health psychology’ module. We are delighted and very grateful to be working with faculty and students at NUIG and DePaul over the next few weeks.

#healthpsychology #publichealth #professionalism #employability #onlinecollaboration #internationalisation

MSc Health Psychology at Coventry collaborate online with Masters in Public Health at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Live video link day - Memorial St John

Dr Krishna Bhatti with the Coventry students on live video discussion day

At the beginning of the autumn term (September/October 2019), students on the MSc Health Psychology here at Coventry got together with students on the Masters in Public Health at Memorial University of Newfoundland, to work on an online international collaborative learning project.

The focus was on the social determinants of health, and in particular, the determinants of obesity. Students from the two courses learned how health psychology and public health professions may emphasise different approaches to the issue of obesity. The project materials included a critique of a recent (and controversial) public health campaign by Cancer Research UK, and the response from the general public, health professionals and activists. Students discussed issues around weight stigma, person-first language and constructions of accountability. Memorial University shared with us some of the major public health issues in Newfoundland, Labrador and Canada, while our students shared information on public health concerns in Coventry, the West Midlands and the UK. On the 3rd of October 2019 the two courses joined each other for a live video discussion about the social determinants of health and ways to promote health equity.

Twenty eight students took part in the project – eighteen from Coventry and ten from Memorial St John’s. We’re very grateful to Dr Martha Traverso-Yepez and her students at Memorial for collaborating with us on this project.

#munphcovpsy #weightstigma #obesity #socialdeterminants #healthequity #publichealth #healthpsychology #criticalhealthpsychology

European Health Psychology Society Conference, Dubrovnik, 2019

Earlier this month MSc health psych team member Carol Percy attended #EHPS2019, in Dubrovnik, Croatia.  Carol was presenting two posters at the conference:

‘Hope for PCOS’: Co-creation of an online self-management peer support programme for polycystic ovary syndrome. This project is led by Carol and included data from an MSc dissertation project carried out by one of our graduates. The study has produced a new prototype intervention that will be tested in a feasibility trial in the coming year.

Piloting a novel online international learning project on employability for postgraduate health psychology students. This was a joint project in collaboration with the MSc Health Psychology course at the National University of Ireland at Galway. We are planning to expand this project to include a further international partner. It will run in semester two (Spring 2020) and will be a great opportunity for our students to gain virtual international experience.

“The conference was amazing” says Carol “A really stimulating environment showing the huge range and potential in health psychology. And Dubrovnik was lovely too!”

The conference programme and abstracts can be found at

International Employability in Health Psychology: An online collaborative project

Live link OIL tweet screenshot

This year students on our MSc Health Psychology took part in a pilot of a new Online International Learning (OIL) Project. This was a collaboration between MSc Health Psychology programmes at Coventry University & the National University of Ireland Galway.

Led by Coventry University, and supported by our Centre for Global Engagement, OIL projects are ‘virtual mobility’ experiences that develop students’ intercultural competences & digital skills, while they work with others on subject-specific learning tasks or activities.

How OIL projects work

  • Interaction is primarily online – with a focus on digital collaboration skills.
  • Projects may also include face to face interaction or exchanges/visits too if partners want this.

To participate in this particular project in health psychology, students did not need to travel for visits or face to face meetings.

This project on international employability for health psychology aimed to develop students’

  • Awareness of global & local health issues – the potential role for health psychology graduates in addressing these.
  • Understanding professional status & employment prospects for health psychology in at least two countries.
  • Understanding of cultural & intercultural competence for health professionals.

A range of learning activities were hosted via Coventry University Open Moodle and we also held a live online video discussion around the topic of ‘Global Health Psychology’.

Results from the pilot show students enjoyed this initiative and gained new knowledge and skills around employability.

Dr Carol Percy, who led the project, will be presenting posters on the pilot at two European conferences this summer (ESPLAT and EHPS). We are hoping to expand to include further international partners for the 2019/20 academic year.


#Employability #HealthPsychology #InternationalExperience #OnlineLearning #SDGs #DigitalLiteracy




Krishna delivers conference poster in Chicago

In June 2019, MSc Health Psychology course director Dr Krishna Bhatti attended the Society for Community Research and Action Biennial Conference on the campus of National Louis University in Chicago, USA.

Krishna presented research she did for her Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. Her poster was titled: ‘Definitely she used the word poison, I liked that’: Elderly Sikh immigrants’ experience of a culturally adapted preventative health intervention’.

While in Chicago, Krishna met with Dr Suzanne Carlberg-Racich from De Paul University to discuss an online learning collaboration that we hope will involve our respective Coventry and DePaul students.


Congratulations to recent graduate on starting Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology

The @MScHealthPsych course team were delighted recently to hear that 2017/18 student Abdirahim Mohamed has been accepted onto a fully funded stage two training place on the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University.

Abdi has been an inspiration to fellow students while on his MSc Health Psychology course at Coventry. He’s also supported thousands of psychology graduates and aspiring professionals via his PsychAssist blog.

Getting his much sought-after stage two health psychology training place is well deserved and we’re sure Abdi will make the most of his time on the professional doctorate.  We’re looking forward to seeing him graduate with his MSc Health Psych from Coventry later this month.

For updates you can follow Abdi on Twitter @Psych_Assist and please do check out his very popular blog.

Celebrating #NHS70

As the UK National Health Service celebrates its 70th birthday, people up and down the country have been sharing their experiences of working in, and being cared for, by our wonderful, publicly funded healthcare system.

You can catch a brief glimpse of our course leader Adam in this short video made by Coventry University staff. Adam has worked in the NHS as a research fellow investigating psychosocial aspects of stroke.

Congratulations to recent graduate on winning best conference poster

MSc Health Psychology graduate Nicky Ashley recently won the best poster award at the Midlands Health Psychology Network conference.This was for her research project exploring Experiences of Mindfulness Through The Eyes of Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Congratulations to Nicky and her supervisor Karen Maher.

We have a poster presentation as one of our coursework assignments, which is a great opportunity to get practice and feedback on your poster technique. We encourage all out students to think about presenting their work at conferences or in peer reviewed journals.

End of lectures but lots still going on

On 26th of April we celebrated our last day of taught classes, but staff and students will still be really busy over the summer.

Many students will be working on their dissertation projects, while staff will be planning the next academic year, doing lots of marking, attending conferences, teaching at summer schools and doing their own research.

We’ll be running group support sessions for M148PY project students over the summer. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed @MScHealthPsych for student projects recruiting participants.

Former student gives a guest lecture for us

We’re very grateful to MSc Health Psychology graduate Nicky Ashley for giving a guest lecture to our students around psychosocial issues associated with cancer. Students particularly enjoyed the @Hopeprogramme gratitude wall and Lego activity when looking at self management programmes. The session was organised by our colleague Karen Maher, as part of her module on long term conditions.

Karen herself is a graduate of our MSc – we like to hold on to great people!

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